On July 27, Senator Thomas R. Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, highlighted a recent report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announcing that the Medicare Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) Program has recovered $575 million in overpayments through June 2011.  The Report tallied amounts collected from October 2009, when CMS implemented the program nationally, through last month.

The amount of overpayments recovered by CMS is growing.  From October 2009 through September 2010, the RAC program collected $75.4 million.  The first quarter of 2011 brought in $81.2 million, followed by $185.2 million in the second quarter, and $233.4 million at the close of the third.  CMS also reported that $109.6 million in underpayments have been identified and paid to providers since the inception of the program.  The RAC program currently focuses on Medicare Parts A and B but will expand to include Medicare Parts C and D and Medicaid by the end of 2011.  

In his July 27 statement, Senator Carper said “[t]his report shows that the amount the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recovered in this quarter alone comes close to the amount it recovered in the first two quarters combined.”  However, the Senator cautioned that while this is “remarkable progress in just a few months,” CMS has much more work ahead, as “[r]ecent estimates put the total number of Medicare fee-for-service improper payments at a staggering $34.3 billion annually.”  A copy of the CMS report is available by clicking here.  Senator Carper’s press release is available here.